The Rise of Fishes: 500 Million Years of Evolution

The Rise of Fishes: 500 Million Years of Evolution

by John A. Long


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Fishes that walk, fishes that breathe air, fishes that look like—and are—monsters from the deep. These and many more strange creatures swim through The Rise of Fishes, John A. Long’s richly illustrated tour of the past 500 million years. Long has updated his classic work with illustrations of recent fossil discoveries and new interpretations based on genetic analyses. He reveals how fishes evolved from ancient, jawless animals, explains why fishes have survived on the Earth for so long, and describes how they have become the dominant aquatic life-form. Indeed, to take things a step further, we learn much about ourselves through this book, for all amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals are descendants of ancient fishes.

Clear, accessible, and engaging, The Rise of Fishes combines scientific expertise with entertaining stories about Long's own excursions, which span the oceans and continents. The book includes photographs of fossils from around the world as well as dramatic color illustrations depicting what those fishes may have actually looked like.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801854385
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 06/06/1996
Edition description: REPRINT
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 11.03(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

John A. Long is the vice president of Research and Collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. His numerous books include Prehistoric Mammals of Australia and New Guinea: One Hundred Million Years of Evolution and Palaeozoic Vertebrate Biostratigraphy and Biogeography, also published by Johns Hopkins.

Table of Contents

Foreword, by Philippe Janvier
Preface to the Second Edition
1. Earth, Rocks, Evolution, and Fish
2. Glorified Swimming Worms: The First Fishes
3. Jawless Wonders
4. Armored Fishes and Fishes with Arms
5. Sharks and Their Cartilaginous Kin
6. Spiny-Jawed Fishes
7. An Epiphany of Evolution
8. Primitive Ray-Finned Fishes
9. Teleosteans, the Champions
10. The Ghost Fish and Other Primeval Predators
11. Strangers in the Bite: Dipnomorphans
12. Big Teeth, Strong Fins
13. The Greatest Step in Evolution
A Classification of Fishes

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